A human being as a continuation of the Divine Act

By Father George Glinsky

"And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets" (Luke, 9:10-17).

This Gospel reading tells us how God feeds the people who came to listen to Him and His teachings about the eternal life. They were so excited that they remained in their places and were listening to Him for quite a long time. They forgot about their natural need of food. When the day was ending, it became obvious that people were tired and hungry. Despite that, they were really happy that they could listen to Him…

While reading about this episode, people often pay attention to this aspect, which is absolutely unimportant in this case, and even secondary. I mean the fact that Christ performed a miracle. In my opinion, we should think about the fact that Christ’s words helped both His disciples and the people who were there and needed food to perform the miracle themselves. They were strengthened by the Divine power, which touched their souls. What did the Lord say to His disciples? He said: you feed them. God wants us to be the continuation of His Divine Act, His world-saving feat, His victory over death on the Cross, which gave us Resurrection. At the same time we should understand that God wants us to learn how to share our life with others, learn how to let them into our lives and how to truly feel empathy. Origen, an early Christian theologian and philosopher, wrote that God descended to the earth because His love towards people had no limit. If we manage to turn our life into serving our neighbors then we will see that there is nothing impossible for us and that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians, 3:28). 

Everyone can serve other people within their capabilities. This is the call of Apostle Peter: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever” (1 Peter, 4:10-11). We are called upon to show other people that they are the images of God, and that they can become similar to the Lord. Let us keep this in mind.

A sermon by Father George Glinsky, December 8, 2016

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